Looking for a TA career change but not too sure how to get there? Our ‘So you wanna be a…‘ series of articles takes a look at some of the more niche TA roles and digs deep into the who, how, and why behind them. Our resident editor Jody Smith will chat with some of your favourite TA leaders in that space to find out how they got started, what their role really looks like, and what tips and tricks they have for other TA superstars looking to get a foot in the door.
First up, Jody sat down with Matt Woodard, Senior Manager – Talent Acquisition @ Slalom Build to find out what really goes on in the life of a tech recruiter.
Sooooo, how did you get into the Tech Recruitment Space?
I stayed in agency during those really tough GFC years and then moved into my first in-house role with PwC. That gave me a taste of technology consulting, and it took my interest in that space forward – that’s when I joined Xero during a period where they were scaling a huge pace. From there, I fell in love with the tech sector and have been here ever since.
When I think of tech recruiters I think of funky offices, froffies and casual wear. Does being a tech recruiter live up to the hype?
A lot of the tech companies I’ve worked for have those things as perks, for sure. But for me, those things are window dressing to what’s actually important. To me, that is being able to come to work as my true and authentic self; being able to enjoy a healthy work life balance; working with a company that is forward thinking and innovative and is able to attract the best technical talent in the market as a result.
What type of tech candidates do you hire, and where do you find them?
Typically we look for Engineers and Architects in the Software, Data, Quality and Cloud, DevOps & Security spaces. In addition, we are also building out our teams in Experience Design and Solution Ownership (BA, Scrum Masters, Program/Project Managers).
To continue to create awareness of our growing brand in AU, we will start by advertising through LinkedIn and our Careers page. We have a heavy focus on referrals and recommendations from the current build team, through our relationships with specialised Community Meetup groups and we source/headhunt directly through LinkedIn, GitHub, Dribbble, Stack Overflow and Slack.
Chances are the passive candidates aren’t spending a lot of time on LinkedIn but are, instead, exploring new technologies and sharing ideas on GitHub, Stack Overflow and other specialist forums. We aim to connect with those people in a way that will more clearly resonate than a cold reach out on LinkedIn might, for example!
Any tips for success you can share with aspiring tech recruiters?
Get to know the market, the hiring managers, where is your pipeline coming from, who are your competitors and what trends in the industry are going effect your search for talent. Much the same as in any other industry when you’re starting out: be curious, ask questions, understand it’s OK to make mistakes but forgive yourself and learn from them!
Matt’s Cheat Sheet for Aspiring Tech Recruiters
What are some of the actionable things you can do if you want to be a tech recruiter? Here’s some suggestions from Matt of what to use and where to seek out your info.
Absolute must-use productivity and tech tools to make your life so much easier
- Textio has been really useful to help balance language and messaging coming through our position descriptions and outreach messages.
- Lusha has been great for locating contact info
- SeekOut and Entelo for sourcing
- Social Talent’s boolean string generator is gold, especially as it’s a free resource!
Newsletter and event recommendations to keep the brain ticking over and your network fresh
- Newsletters: Hung Lee’s Recruiting Brainfood – I’m always finding little gems of information in there that I’ve used for my job. I’m also a huge fan of the Tapod podcasts.
- Events: Melbourne Recruitment Meetup for a start and attending ATC, SOSU and Talent Table events are amazing ways to learn, connect, engage and grow in the TA space.
Is there a specific niche area of recruitment you’d like to know more about. Email us and let us know.
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